National & International Events - General awareness questions on current affairs

1)   Which University Institute has entered into an agreement with Indian Railways?
- Published on 20 Mar 17

a. Monash
b. Macquerie
c. Canberra
d. Adelaide
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Monash

Explanation:
Australian research centre Monash University Institute of Railway Technology and Indian Ministry of Railways Corporation Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited signed an agreement to this effect.

IRT with partners Balaji Railroad Systems Ltd (BARSYL), leading railway consultants in India, PwC, and Indian Institute of Bombay (IITB) were selected as the preferred supplier from a competitive global selection process.

They will provide guidance on the establishment of a new applied research and development institute in India known as SRESTHA (Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement).

SRESTHA will be locally engaged, but have a global reach.

It will have the aim to become a world leader in the advancement of rail.

Significantly, the project will provide guidance to the Indian Railways on international models that will be adapted to the Indian railway environment.


2)   India and which other country are celebrating 25 years of diplomatic ties in 2017?
- Published on 28 Feb 17

a. Syria
b. Saudi Arabia
c. Israel
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Israel

Explanation:
India and Israel are planning to hold a series of events to celebrate 25 years of establishment of their diplomatic ties.

Both countries will hold a series of events on a variety of subjects to celebrate the occasion in a befitting manner.

India had established full diplomatic relationship with Israel in 1992 though it had recognised the country in 1950.

Both countries have been collaborating with each other on many fronts including cooperation in defence and agriculture and achieved milestones in fostering bilateral relationship.

Both countries are also committed to further deepening and diversifying the relation in many areas including those of space, science and technology, education and innovation.

Israel: Know More

  • Capital: Jerusalem
  • Code: +972
  • Currency: Israeli new shekel
  • President: Reuven Rivlin
  • Prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu


3)   Netherlands is hosting a festival of India at which cities in 2017?
- Published on 19 Jan 17

a. Hague
b. Amsterdam
c. Rotterdam
d. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hague

Explanation:
A Festival of India is being organized in the Netherlands from 26 January – 27 March 2017.

The Festival will showcase diverse Indian culture.

These include classical and folk dances, music, and exhibition on handmade ethnically sourced silk clothes and accessories.

The events will be held in the cities of The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam/Maastricht, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Groningen.

During the Festival, the following events will be showcased:

  • 13-member Kathak Dance by Aditi Mangaldas Kathak Dance Group
  • 15-member Bhojpuri Folk Dance from North Zone Cultural Centre
  • 4-member Classical Instrumental Music Group of Subhash Ghosh
  • 3-member Exhibition-cum-Demonstration on Handmade ethnically sourced silk clothes and accessories by Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Director, Sewa Bharat
  • 10-member Bharatnatyam Dance by Dr Sanddhya V. Pureccha.

  • Netherlands: Know More

  • The Netherlands is a country in northwestern Europe.
  • Capital: Amsterdam
  • Currency: Euro
  • Official languages: Dutch, Papiamento, Frisian
  • Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  • Monarch: Willem-Alexander
  • Prime Minister: Mark Rutte
  • Legislature States: General
  • Upper house: Senate
  • Lower house: House of Representatives
  • Kingdom established: 16 March 1815
  • Constituent country: 15 December 1954


4)   President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 77th session of the Indian History Congress in which state?
- Published on 02 Jan 17

a. Kerala
b. Karnataka
c. Tamil Nadu
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Kerala

Explanation:
President Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated the 77th session of Indian History Congress (IHC).

It was inaugurated at University of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Over 3,000 historians and research scholars are participating in the 3-day session of IHC.

The IHC is the largest professional and academic body of Indian historians with over 10,000 members.

Radha Champakalakshmi of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is current President of IHC.


5)   US President Barack Obama signed a defence law asking US to take steps to recognise which nation as its major defence partner?
- Published on 26 Dec 16

a. India
b. Pakistan
c. Bhutan
d. Nepal
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: India

Explanation:
US President Barack Obama has signed into law a USD 618 billion defence budget for 2017, which enhances security cooperation with India ad conditions nearly half of the funding to Pakistan on a certification that is taking demonstrable steps against the Haqqani network.

Obama on 23rd Dec 2016 signed the NDAA or National Defence Authorisation Act 2017 which asks defence secretary and secretary of state to take steps to recognise India as America’s major defence partner

NDAA 2017 enhances security cooperation between US and India.

It also asks the administration to designate an individual within the executive branch who has the experience in defence acquisition and technology to reinforce and ensure, through inter-agency policy coordination, the success of the Framework for the US-India Defence Relationship and resolve remaining issues impeding US India defence trade, security cooperation and co-production and co-development opportunities.

The NDAA among other things, creates a USD 1.2 billion counter ISIL Fund imposing four conditions on Pakistan to be eligible for USD 400 million of the USD 900 million of the coalition support fund.

US Defence Secretary will also need to certify to the Congress that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations that are contributing to significantly disrupting terror havens and freedom of movement of the Haqqani Network in Pakistan and that Islamabad has taken steps to demonstrate the commitment to prevent the Haqqani network from using any of its territory as a safe haven.

Earlier in 2016, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter refused to give similar certification to Pakistan due to which it was not given USD 300 million under coalition support fund.


6)   What was the series of nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan in 1998 called?
- Published on 19 Dec 16

a. Chagai-I test series
b. Kirana-I test series
c. Pokhran-II test series
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Chagai-I test series

Explanation:
Pakistan has declared a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing according to the Deputy Permanent representative to the UN Nabeel Munir.

The states should prevent WMDs proliferation to states as well as non-state actors, according to Munir at the UNSC debate.

Listing the steps taken by Pakistan to fulfil its non-proliferation obligations, he stated that Pakistan has elaborated and implemented a comprehensive export control regime harmonised with the NSG/Nuclear Suppliers Group and MTCR/Missile Technology Control Regime.

The Pakistani representative also said the country has been forthcoming on translating this into a bilateral arrangement on non testing with India.

He also added that Pakistan’s credentials clearly establish its eligibility to become an NSG member.

The grant of waivers to long held proliferation norms and rule carries obvious proliferation risks and undermines regional strategic stability.

The Pakistani representative also said an equitable, non discriminatory and criteria based approach to promote civil nuclear cooperation and membership of export control regimes in particular of the NSG is adopted.

Chagai I

  • Country: Pakistan
  • Test site: Ras Koh, Pakistan
  • Period: 1998
  • Number of tests: 1
  • Test type: underground tunnel
  • Max. yield: 32 kilotonnes of TNT (130 TJ)
  • Next test series: Chagai II


7)   India signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement on 9th Dec 2016 with which country?
- Published on 12 Dec 16

a. Vietnam
b. Malaysia
c. China
d. Japan
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Vietnam

Explanation:
To enhance bilateral ties between the two nations, India and Vietnam on 9th Dec 2016 signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

The agreement was signed in New Delhi.

This agreement also marked the visit of President of Vietnam’s National Assembly Nhuyen Thi Kim Ngan. Ngan is the first woman to head the National Assembly of Vietnam.

This is the second nuclear pact signed by India within a month.

In Nov 2016, India signed a similar civil nuclear agreement with Japan.

Vietnam is the 14th nation India has signed a civil nuclear deal with.

Aside from the nuclear deal, the two nations signed three more agreement to enhance aviation links, to jointly work in the area of energy efficiency and promotion of parliamentary cooperation.


8)   India on 21st Nov became an associate member of CERN. What is CERN?
- Published on 22 Nov 16

a. World’s largest nuclear and particle physics lab
b. European Organisation for Nuclear Research
c. Both of the above
d. Neither of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both of the above

Explanation:
India on 21st Nov became an associate member of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, the world’s largest nuclear and physics particle lab

  • The agreement was signed by DAE Secretary and Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, Sekhar Basu and CERN DG Dr. Fabiola Gianotti
  • In 2015, the Union Cabinet approved the proposal for India officially entering the Geneva based body following which the CERN Council accepted India has an associate member
  • India has observer status till Sept 2016 when CERN Council adopted the resolution upgrading its position
  • Three major activities in the lab- acceleration, detection and computing are areas where Indian scientists excel
  • An associate membership of CERN will enhance participation of young scientists and engineers in various CERN projects
  • Indian industries will also participate directly in CERN projects; industries can now bag contracts for specified requirement of CERN
  • After becoming an associate member, India also contributes certain money for research activities
  • Annual contribution of 11.5m Swiss Franc from Indian government to CERN involves the associate membership
  • Membership comes at a time when criticism within the scientific community over the delay in India accepting the membership
  • Pakistan was an associate member since 2014
  • The organisation is the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics lab where scientists and engineers have probed the fundamental structure of the Universe using sophisticated scientific instruments and advanced computing systems
  • CERN currently has 22 member states, 4 associate member states and observer status is given to 4 states and 3 International organisations


9)   Which edition of the Conference of Parties will be hosted by India?
- Published on 07 Nov 16

a. 6
b. 7
c. 8
d. 9
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 7

Explanation:
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GoI will be hosting the COP7.

  • The Conference of Parties will be inaugurated by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, JP Nadda.
  • Conference will be held at Greater Noida’s District Gautam Buddha Nagar UP.
  • This is the first occasion that a COP meeting is being held in India.
  • GoI has a strong commitment to increase international cooperation and awareness of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control internationally and in the SE Asian region.
  • Delhi Declaration for supporting measures to combat tobacco control will also be framed at COP7.
  • The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is the first international evidence based public health treaty.
  • The rights of people to the highest standard of health has been recognised.
  • The treaty was developed by nations in response to the globalisation of the tobacco epidemic.
  • Currently, there are 180 parties to the convention.
  • India has ratified the public health treaty in 2005.
  • It was the 7th nation to ratify the convention.
  • The treaty was ratified on 27th February by India; the nation is now obligated to comply with the treaty provisions and guidelines to reduce tobacco consumption internationally.
  • India has provided the leadership role in the negotiations of FCTC and was a regional coordinator for the SE Asia region.
  • COP is the governing body of the WHO FCTC and is comprised of the Parties to the Convention.
  • It keeps under regular review of the implementation of the convention.
  • COP ensures decisions are in place to promote effective implementation.
  • It may also adopt protocols, amendments and annexes to the Convention.
  • COP conference is held once every 2 years.


10)   Joint military training will be conducted in Himalayas in Chaubattia in Uttarakhand between India and US. Which name does this exercise have?
- Published on 13 Sep 16

a. YUDH ABHYAS 2016
b. YUG ABHIYAS 2016
c. YUDH SHAKTI 2016
d. none of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: YUDH ABHYAS 2016

Explanation:
Part of ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, a joint military training exercise “YUDH ABHYAS 2016” will be conducted in the foothills of Himalayas at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand from September 14 to 27.

  • Under the aegis of the Headquarter Central Command, this is one of the longest joint military training and bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and the US
  • Two week exercise will witness the participation of 225 personnel of the US Army and a Congo Brigade of the Indian army
  • This is the 12th edition of the exercise hosted alternately by the two nations
  • Both nations will work for counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations in mountainous terrain under UN charter.
  • Training will lead to a final validation exercise in which troops of both nations can carry out operations against terrorism
  • The exercise will have a section on the Brigade HQ based Command Post Exercise
  • This is an infantry company carrying out field training exercise and discussions on issues of mutual interest by experts in both nations.


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